Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Out Pippin’ The Pipper

After 40 miles of sweet chilled out rolling goodness, we crested the last riser. On the other side, Bromley Kentucky and the wooden sign that proves it. Beyond that, the usual easy 10 mile city cruise over the Ohio River and along the other shore to home. The thought was in my mind. Rolling with my favorite wingman, Tony, my wife and a guy from another team, I knew at least 3 out of 4 were thinking sprint. The guy from the other team, not familiar with our little ride, probably didn’t know about the sign. Plus, it was January and it was a chilled out just glad to be on the bikes type of ride. I decided not to sprint, not fair if there’s someone in the bunch that doesn’t know about it. Tony, usually sharing the same cyclo-ethics as I do, I guessed would do the same and just roll on through the sign. My evil wife on the other hand…

The pace stayed civil toward the climb. I led nearly up to it. On purpose of course, it would give me a position on the back to sprint from. It may be January, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn't be at least thinking like a bike racer. Tony took it to the top and pulled off. The guy from the other team, unknowing that a sprint sign loomed, took it down toward the line. I didn’t even look back under my arm to confirm that Tony wouldn’t go for it. He wouldn’t. Besides, he can outsprint me 9 out of 10 times from the front spot. 250 meters-ish. Downhill. I stayed on the hoods. 200. 150. 100. I remembered I had a Clif Bar in my pocket. 50. My wife pulls out and gives it for the sucker-pip! Dang! I launched to her wheel and around! 25! 3 wide at the front. 15-10. I threw my bike and got her by a half wheel. “Aw man,” she shouted in fun as she half heartedly banged her bars with her cute girl fist. I looked back and smiled.

Let her win? No way! I’m not an asshole. She simply wouldn’t want me to let her win and besides, I’ve seen her beat the boys all on her own, present company included. She’s a smart and strong rider and can hold her own. That’s being a good hubby. Sometimes we’ll get in cahoots and I’ll lead her out. That’s a blast. Other times, she’ll go for the line and I’ll take the wheel of anyone who follows so we at least go 1-2 or 1-3. Regardless, a pip is hardly a sprint. The pip and smile is the friendly sucker punch of cycling. From my wife, the pip says, I love you honey bunny. It puts that little sprinkle of sugar on a sour cold winter ride. However, what’s even sweeter is out pippin' the pipper.

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